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Her research centers on using individual life stories (biographies) to illustrate the historical forces shaping women’s lives in the United States. Her first book, "Circumstances are Destiny." An Antebellum Woman's Struggle to Define Sphere, (Kent State University Press, 2006) follows the path of a rural Ohioan dairy farmer, wife, and mother as she attempts to expand the narrow boundaries of her life through her support of abolition, women’s rights, and temperance. Barbara Egger Lennon: Teacher, Mother, Activist (Westview Press, 2015) looks at women’s changing roles in the first half of the twentieth century from the perspective of a woman balancing work, family, and labor reform.